Protest sign reading "THERE IS NO PLANET B"

Budget 2023: a risky bet on cleaner capitalism

Jun 1, 2023
With roughly $62 billion in new climate-related spending over the next decade, the federal government’s 2023 budget doubled down on climate action with a focus on investment in the clean economy. However, the budget locks in a particular approach to climate action—one where incentives to the private sector do the heavy lifting of growing green… View Article

BC’s Homes for People plan: Some positive steps but still behind on non-market housing

May 16, 2023
The BC government’s April 2023 Homes for People (HFP) plan marks an important step forward towards better managing and regulating housing in the province. With a headline commitment of $4.2 billion over three years (and $12 billion over 10 years), the plan includes new measures to support renters, some loosening of zoning restrictions, new speed… View Article

Why Canada still needs a wealth tax—and what it could fund

May 9, 2023
The rise of extreme inequality has provoked growing calls for an annual wealth tax on the super-rich around the world, and Canada is no exception. Backed by a growing body of economic research, proposals for a wealth tax have high levels of support among Canadians across party lines. Yet, an annual wealth tax is nowhere… View Article
Aerial photo of Smithers mill surrounded by piles of logs

Promises of cleaner air up in smoke

Apr 28, 2023
Calls for BC environment minister to suspend pellet mill permit Every year, the air in the Bulkley Valley community of Smithers becomes hazardous to human health as thousands of fires known as slash burns are deliberately set at logging sites. The contaminated air can stay trapped in the valley’s airshed for extended periods as the… View Article

Waning transparency in Canada: Is access to information broken?

Apr 27, 2023
At the federal, provincial and even the local level, there was a time when governments in Canada seemed to think transparency about their operations was a pretty good idea. Not anymore. At the federal level, the issue of transparency through access to information has even been sent to the United Nations. The Nova Scotia-based Centre… View Article
Two workers painting an exterior wall of a building, hanging with harnesses.

New survey data shines light on the extent and impacts of precarious employment in BC

Apr 13, 2023
The rise of the “gig economy” and on-demand work through online platforms like Uber and Skip the Dishes has ignited public debate about precarious work and what makes a “good job.”  We all know that precarious work existed long before Uber and is not limited to the gig economy. But government efforts to develop an… View Article

The extra-long logging haul

Apr 12, 2023
As forests shrink, drivers work 16-hour days to deliver single loads of logs to BC sawmills When Eugene Wilson started driving a logging truck 24 years ago, he worked out of the Bulkley valley community of Houston three hours west of Prince George. He recalls the trips as if they were yesterday. He’d begin the… View Article

Raising emissions while pledging to lower them — British Columbia’s Orwellian LNG gambit

Mar 23, 2023
In 2007, then-BC premier Gordon Campbell passed the “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act” committing BC to a 33 per cent reduction in emissions from 2007 levels by 2020. Despite premier Campbell’s good intentions, emissions in 2020 were down just 1.6 per cent. In 2016, in lieu of increasing the carbon tax implemented in Campbell’s greenhouse… View Article

Discussions of foreign interference and national security can quickly become toxic

Mar 21, 2023
Open Letter to the Right Honorable David Johnston, Independent Special Rapporteur, Government of Canada from the Advisory Group, Canada-China Focus. Signatories below. We are deeply concerned that discussions of foreign interference and national security can quickly become toxic as we have already seen in the accusations that a respected Chinese Canadian senator and a newly elected mayor are agents of… View Article

Houston Falling: Super-sized mills lead to super-sized problems for BC forests and workers

Mar 2, 2023
When the world’s biggest sawmill opened its doors, then-premier Gordon Campbell enthused that it could shoot out enough lumber to build all of British Columbia’s new annual housing stock, which was then averaging 26,000 units per year. After the ribbon was cut and the first logs passed through its computerized scanners and whirring sawblades on… View Article
People holding up a sign saying “BC needs pay equity legislation!”

We know BC has a gender pay gap – it’s time to do something about it

Mar 2, 2023
This article is excerpted from an open letter released today by a coalition that CCPA-BC helped to convene, and that includes Indigenous organizations, workers’ rights groups, labour unions, law and policy advocates, researchers and community leaders. Want to add your voice to the call? Individuals can sign on here, and organizations can join the list… View Article

BC budget does the right thing by prioritizing investment over austerity

Mar 1, 2023
BC’s first budget under Premier David Eby includes substantial funding increases in housing, health care, income supports and cost of living tax credits, as well as allocating a record level of investment towards capital infrastructure. This not only represents much-needed progress towards meeting some of the big challenges facing our province but also prudently continues… View Article

Does the global “loss and damages” fund negotiated at COP27 offer lessons for BC?

Feb 23, 2023
The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) ended last November with an historic agreement to establish a “loss and damages” fund to address the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable nations. Given the disasters BC has faced over the last couple of years, is this a model the province could draw on to… View Article

To break housing gridlock, we need to democratize unrepresentative public hearings

Feb 22, 2023
Housing policy has a democracy problem. Amid a housing crisis, highly unrepresentative public hearing processes contribute to land-use decisions that fail to reflect the perspectives and interests of all affected residents. But the right reforms can help deepen democracy and break housing gridlock. At the municipal level, decisions about providing new housing are typically made… View Article

Big challenges and opportunities for the BC budget

Feb 16, 2023
British Columbia is facing big social and environmental challenges ahead of Budget 2023: sky high rents, health care under enormous strain, a toxic drugs crisis, climate disruption and the need to build and rebuild crucial but eroded public services (to name a few). The good news is that BC has more than enough fiscal and… View Article

Greenlighting fracking while protecting treaty rights?

Feb 13, 2023
Agreement with BC aside, 1000s of gas wells await Blueberry River First Nations When the Blueberry River First Nations took the provincial government to court in March 2015, arguing that cumulative industrial developments had robbed them of their ability to hunt and fish, oil and gas companies could see trouble lay ahead.  So what did… View Article

Still so far from home: An update on BC’s 114,000 homes promise

Feb 10, 2023
There is a huge opportunity for the BC government, under new leadership, to address housing affordability by making major investments in non-market housing. A growing number of commentators have recognized that the market alone cannot solve BC’s housing problem, particularly for low- to middle-income households. Major investments in non-market housing could include a much larger… View Article

Spending What It Takes: Transformational climate investments for long-term prosperity in Canada

Feb 9, 2023
The world is confronted with a slew of accelerating and converging crises, from climate change and biodiversity loss to energy insecurity, unaffordable living and rising inequality. In the face of these challenges, Canada must urgently and equitably decarbonize every sector of the economy both to contribute our fair share of the global climate effort and… View Article

Will 2023 be the year BC farmworkers finally receive basic minimum wage protections?

Jan 26, 2023
The majority of BC households are stressed because of debt and inflation. It’s even worse for one group of farmworkers who, legally, may earn less than minimum wage. While British Columbians rang in the New Year, the provincial government quietly increased the minimum piece rate wage for farmworkers by a pitiful 2.8 per cent—their first… View Article

Counting the Costs and Contradictions of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Jan 23, 2023
Canada’s uneasy relationship between climate change and fossil fuel development was illustrated in November 2021 when seven atmospheric rivers hit southern BC. The “big one” starting on Nov. 13 led to massive flooding and landslides that crippled infrastructure and isolated the south coast from the rest of Canada.  Among the shutdowns was the Trans Mountain… View Article